1. Hernando

Hernando Symphony wraps up season with Kaleidoscope

When Michele DiLuzio took over as conductor of the Hernando Symphony Orchestra five years ago, one of her goals was to introduce new music to the orchestra's repertoire. It was not an easy feat. One piece of music can cost $65 to more than $500.

But she met that goal through the orchestra's "The Gift of Music" program, which allows patrons — and musicians, as well — to donate toward the purchase of music.

And when the orchestra wraps up this season with its Kaleidoscope concert April 27 and 28, the audience will be treated to a full lineup of new music. In fact, all but one piece (Phantom of the Opera) is new.

"This is all thanks to that wonderful Gift of Music," DiLuzio said.

Kaleidoscope will feature favorite tunes and original pieces. The opening number, The Star of Dreams, is an original score by composer Robert W. Smith.

"It is based on the state of Texas," DiLuzio said. "You feel the stampede, the beauty of the terrain. It's extremely high energy; the orchestra loves this piece."

Another original, Cumberland Cross, reminds DiLuzio of frolicking in fields and really kicks up the tempo. And Child's Lullaby is a score that DiLuzio said weaves through the life and personality of a little girl who died from cancer.

"It's a beautiful, lyrical piece that was commissioned by her grandparents," she said. "It's very powerful."

The concert will feature a solo performance by orchestra pianist Sylvia Leaman on Libertango. Leaman's husband, Jay (who plays trombone with the orchestra), rewrote the arrangement to work in parts where she performs alone.

"Sylvia is an amazing pianist," DiLuzio said. "She's been with the orchestra since 1991, and audiences always hear her accompany other soloists. I've wanted her to do something on her own and not accompanied by the orchestra. She is just incredible. We are really looking forward to it."

The concert also will feature Around the World in 80 Days, Doors on Tour, Tritsch-Tratsch Polka (the orchestra's first polka), Mambo Greats and Soundtrack.

"Soundtrack plays like a movie soundtrack," DiLuzio said. "This piece should make you think about a favorite show or movie and if there was no music. ... You don't realize how important music is until it isn't there."

If you go: The Hernando Symphony Orchestra will present its Kaleidoscope concert at 7:30 p.m. April 27 and 2 p.m. April 28, in the Central High School auditorium, 14075 Ken Austin Parkway, west of Brooksville. The conductor and some musicians will be on hand an hour prior to each concert for a meet and greet. Tickets are $18 adults, $5 students (ages 5-17). For tickets, call (352) 584-1210. Email; visit the website at

Contact Phyllis Day at or (352) 848-1408. Follow @pdaytimes.